News and Views

News, information and opinions from Massachusetts disability rights advocates.

Is “Death with Dignity” Really Possible?

November 30, 2021 by Ronald W. Pies, MD for the Psychiatric Times. "Has this slogan crowded out the importance of life with dignity?" ..."over the past several decades, death with dignity has become a kind of battle cry. Owing to the lobbying and proselytizing efforts of groups promoting physician-assisted suicide—euphemistically called, “medical aid in dying”—the phrase, death with dignity, has become nearly synonymous with the deliberate ingestion of lethal drugs, prescribed for people with terminal illnesses.2 In the marketplace of ideas, other modes of dignity in dying—and more importantly, in living—have been crowded out." ...
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H2381 – Poole Testimony Oct 1, 2021

Download Poole Testimony H2381 2021-10-01.pdf or read below. My name is Ruthie Poole, and I am the president of M-POWER, a statewide group made up of people with lived experience of mental health diagnosis, trauma, and addiction. As people with psychiatric disabilities, M-POWER members feel passionately about the right to self-determination. However, that is not what this bill is about. It is not uncommon for people with disabilities and elders who may not be physically well to feel like they’re a burden on their families. Prescribing doctors in Oregon last year reported that more than half of program suicides felt ...
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H2381 – Daly Testimony Oct 1, 2021

Download Daly Testimony H2381 2021-10-01.pdf or read below. Eighteen months ago, if you'd asked me if I supported a doctor assisted suicide bill I would have answered, sure, why not, choice is good. And I would have believed that I could control whether I opt in or not.  Since then, I’ve put two and two together and found that an assisted suicide bill does not add up to a choice I can live with. In fact, if the bill is passed, and the trend continues, the odds of my dying prematurely and without my consent are surprisingly high. My disability ...
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